KANNAPOLIS — NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon warned Wednesday that the repercussions of Michael Waltrip Racings manipulation of last weekends race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway are only beginning.
Its way beyond you and me, way beyond the sport and the fans, said Gordon. It reaches out much further than that. It has affected far more people than we can understand.
Its going to happen again. So it has to be addressed in a big way.
Gordon was in position to make the Chase during the closing laps by finishing amongthe top 10 in points. But with MWRs cars losing positions by pitting and spinning, Joey Logano ended up claiming a guaranteed spot, leaving Gordon out.
That all happened after Clint Bowyers spin that played such a huge part in Martin Truex Jr. finishing high enough to make the Chase a spot nullified Monday by NASCAR when it removed Truex from the Chase by docking him 50 points.
Ill admit, we all are figuring out ways to make the Chase, said Gordon, a four-time series champion. When the time comes, we want to see what we can do to help our teammate win the championship.
The difference is there are lines that are drawn, and this crossed over the line.
Gordon said NASCARs reputation is on the line.
Its the integrity of the sport, he said. What level do you go to win? Ive been asked if its OK to knock a guy out of the way to win a race to get into the Chase. There are certain morals that are still involved with what youre comfortable and not comfortable doing.
Gordon, who was at Kannapolis CMC-Northeast Stadium for a charity kickball game benefiting childrens cancer research, said he still is trying to work through Saturday nights events mentally and emotionally.
The anger and disappointment were unlike anything Ive ever felt before, he said. When we didnt (finish high enough), I thought Id let the team down. But when you find out later how they manipulated it, that was anger at a whole other level. Its hard to describe.
But it brings about (another) level of motivation for us to go and race this final 10 weeks.
Gordon walked off to play kickball with three final words:
To be continued.
Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14